9:1 As other people - With feastings, triumphs, and sacrifices of thanksgiving. A reward - Such as is given by adulterers to lewd women; thou hast loved to see thy floor full, and hast said thy idols gave thee this plenty.
9:2 The floor - The corn which is gathered into the floor. The wine - press - The wine that is prest out in it. Shall not feed - Shall not nourish and strengthen the idolaters. Shall fail - Samaria and all Israel expect a full vintage, but they expect it from their idols, and therefore shall be disappointed.
9:3 Ephraim - Many of Ephraim shall fly into Egypt. And they - The residue shall be carried captive into Assyria.
9:4 Wine - offerings - These were appointed to be offered with the morning and evening sacrifice, the sacrifice representing Christ, and pardon by him; the wine - offering, the spirit of grace: the sacrifice repeated, daily continued their peace and pardon. All this shall be withheld from these captives. Pleasing - If any should venture to offer. As the bread of mourners - It shall as much pollute them and displease God as if one mourning for the dead, and forbidden to sacrifice, should venture to do it. Their bread - Their bread which they were bound to offer with their sacrifices, they will now have no opportunity of bringing to the Lord's house.
9:5 What will ye do - You will not then be suffered to observe any of them.
9:6 They are gone - Some are already withdrawn from the desolation that cometh. Egypt - In Egypt they hope to be quiet and survive these desolations, but they shall die in Egypt. The pleasant places - Their beautiful houses built for keeping their wealth in. Nettles - Shall be ruined, and lie in rubbish, 'till nettles grow in them.
9:7 The prophet - The false prophet. The spiritual man - That pretends to be full of the spirit of prophecy. For thine iniquity - God began his punishments in giving them over to believe their false prophets. The great hatred - Which God had against your sins.
9:8 The watchman - The old true prophets indeed were with God. My God - The God of Hosea. The prophet - The false prophets have, as well as the people, left God. Is a snare - Their pretended predictions are but a snare, such as fowlers lay. And hatred - Such prophets are full of hatred and malice: yea, they are hatred itself.
9:10 I found Israel - The Lord speaks of himself in the person of a traveller, who unexpectedly in the wilderness finds a vine loaded with grapes; such love did God bear to Israel. Your fathers - Whom I brought out of Egypt. As the first - ripe - As the earliest ripe fruit of the fig - tree, which is most valued and desired. Separated themselves - Consecrated themselves to that shameful idol. Their abominations - Their idols, and way of worshipping them. As they loved - As they fancied.
9:11 Their glory - Their children or posterity, which was the glory of Israel. Shall fly - It is proverbial, and speaks a sudden loss of children. From the birth - As soon as born. From the womb - Their mothers shall not bring their fruit alive into the world. The conception - Their wives shall not conceive.
9:12 Not a man left - There shall be a total extirpation of them. When I depart - To compleat their misery, I will depart from them. It is sad to lose our children, but sadder to lose our God.
9:13 To the murderer - He will send them forth in mighty armies; but it will be sending them out to the slaughter.
9:14 Give then - It is an abrupt but pathetic speech of one that shews his trouble for a sinking, undone nation. A miscarrying womb - It is less misery to have none, than to have all our children murdered.
9:15 All their wickedness - The chief or beginning. There I hated them - As there they began to sin so notoriously, there I began to shew that I hated them.